Russia and ASEAN member countries possess a tremendous potential for cooperation that could be pushed even further. In this regard, Indonesia is encouraging Russia to take a more active role in realizing the goal of ASEAN connectivity 2015.
The above was stated by the Indonesian Ambassador to ASEAN I Gede Ngurah Swajaya at the forum entitled “ASEAN and the Russian Federation: Towards a Progressive and Comprehensive Partnership” that took place at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO), Moscow (17/12). Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya also stated that such cooperation might be carried out in a three pillared scheme, i.e. politic and security, economy and socio-cultural.
Cooperation prospects between the two parties include, among others, cooperation in the field of education and technology, energy, economics, trade and investment, tourism, people-to-people contact and eradicating transnational crimes.
“The Russian Federation is one of ASEAN’s important dialogue partners, and as such there are numerous opportunities for cooperation between the two parties, including infrastructure development, such as the construction of railway lines that connect ASEAN countries”, said Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya.
On the other hand, the Special Envoy of the Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry for the region of Asia-Pacific and ASEAN Ambassador Alexander Ivanov who attended the forum as a speaker stated that maintaining stability in the region is crucial for advancing the development and cooperation between the parties.
He also added that with its potential, Russia could fulfill the needs of ASEAN, whether it is on land, sea, air, or even below ground.
“Realization of a cooperation requires a mutual trust between the two parties”, said Ambassador Ivanov who recently ended his term as the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Indonesia.
The forum, which was organized as a collaborative effort between the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow and MGIMO with 80 participants, including, among others, government officials, scholars, business persons and students. The attendees also include Ambassadors and staff of ASEAN embassies in Moscow.
Besides Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya and Ambassador Ivanov, the forum also featured the Director of ASEAN Center at MGIMO Victor Sumsky and the Executive Director of Russia-ASEAN Business Council Victor Tarusin.
During his stay in Russia, Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya also held a general lecture for the students and staff lecturers of St. Petersburg State University on the latest development in ASEAN, the role of Indonesia in ASEAN and the relationship between Russia and ASEAN.
The Indonesian Ambassador to the Russian Federation who also doubled as the Ambassador to the Republic of Belarus Djauhari Oratmangun said that the event was intended to strengthen the relationship among ASEAN communities in Russia and advancing the cooperation between ASEAN and Russia.
“The event was also intended to provide insight to the Russian people on issues pertaining to ASEAN, the role of Indonesia in ASEAN and the relationship between Russia and ASEAN”, said Ambassador Djauhari who formerly served as the Director General of ASEAN Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (source: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Moscow/ Enjay Diana/ trans. Hari).